Business Extra: News In Brief

Enterprise audit

The business advisory firm Deloitte is inviting entrepreneurs across Britain to take part in its annual survey for the report, Entrepreneurship UK: 2010/11. Now in its third year, the annual report gathers the views of the UK’s entrepreneurs and offers an insight into the mindset and intentions of the people who run the dynamic entrepreneurial companies that underpin the UK economy.

Tony Cohen, head of the entrepreneurial business practice at Deloitte, says: “When we launched the results of the 2009 survey, we were in the midst of exceptional times and the recession had exposed frailties in businesses of all sizes. Ninety-eight per cent of the entrepreneurs who completed our survey admitted a competitor would be able to spot weaknesses in their businesses allowing them to take market share.

As a result, growth took a backseat to survival for entrepreneurs with a fifth expecting to see no revenue growth in their business in 2009 (compared with seven per cent in 2008).” This year’s report could reveal a different picture again, with perhaps some entrepreneurs in a stronger position, having made tough decisions last year, adds Cohen.

The survey is open until the end of September and takes just 10 minutes to complete; simply visit . The results, which will be analysed by Deloitte and the London Business School, will be published in the autumn. Each entrepreneur participating in the survey will receive a copy of the ‘ Entrepreneurship UK: 2010/11’ report.

Energy watch

OWL, the energy saving company, has teamed up with I-GEM (Intelligent Global Energy Management, ) to launch a new on-line intelligent software service that enables customers to compare thousands of electricity tariffs available on the market.

The proposition – called Owl Watch - uses intelligence from the company’s electricity data downloads obtained via a simple monitor to suggest a list of alternative tariffs that would save users money by switching. It is reckoned that 70 per cent of households could save up to £425 per year by switching. I-GEM software will be available to download from September 2010.

Digital awards

Entries are invited for the UK's only national awards dedicated to internet entrepreneurialism. The Digital Entrepreneur of the Year Awards, which have been in existence since 2006, honour the pioneers of the internet by searching for steadfast business leaders who spot commercial opportunities and technical geniuses working tirelessly behind the scenes on digital advancement.

Over the years the awards have paid tribute to such businesses as Square-Enix, Sainsbury's and Henleys Clothing, which was named the DEA Retail Entrepreneur of the Year in 2009. This year's 15 awards are split into four industry categories: Design and Technology, Sustaining Society, Business Category, and E-Services, and also include a whole host of new awards, such as Re-inventor of the Year and Security Innovation of the Year.

The awards are run with dedicated hosting provider UKFast, which has been looking after the internet fortunes of many of the UK's most competitive brands for more than a decade. UKFast's managing director, Lawrence Jones, says: “It is absolutely crucial to encourage entrepreneurialism online and reward those who are paving the way for a strong digital future.” Winners will be announced on 1 December in a ceremony at the Palace Hotel in Manchester and companies can enter the awards for free by visiting the DEA website at: The closing date is 17 September.

Look lively

Fledgling businesses have only until 6 September to enter the latest Shell LiveWIRE Young Entrepreneur of the Year award, which offers up-and-coming business owners aged 16 to 30 the opportunity for national recognition, as well as a substantial financial boost of £10,000 for their business. Shell LiveWIRE is one Britain’s longest running youth entrepreneur awards and was established in 1982 as a Shell Social Investment Programme.

Previous winners and finalists include smoothie maker Innocent, which won the contest’s Greater London Final in 2000 – the company’s first ever business award. Innocent has since grown from four staff to more than 200 and a turnover of £128m. James Smith, Chairman of Shell UK, said: “Entrepreneurial spirit is vital to getting our economy going again. The Shell LiveWIRE award can provide a very timely boost to Britain’s entrepreneurs.” Shell LiveWIRE also supports young entrepreneurs with its Grand Ideas Awards.

Every month, up to six aspiring entrepreneurs are awarded a Shell LiveWIRE Grand Ideas Award of £1,000 to fund an innovative project to help get their business idea off the ground. The enterprise scheme also hosts a business networking community at with 100,000 members, enabling the best business brains from every corner of the nation to share ideas, insights and inspiration with fellow entrepreneurs who understand the challenges they are facing.

To qualify for entry to the entrepreneur of the year award, applicants must be aged between 16 and 30 and have been trading not less than three months and not more than 18 months on 6 September 2010. Visit